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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(1), 710-734;

Substance Use, Mental Disorders and Physical Health of Caribbeans at-Home Compared to Those Residing in the United States

Program for Research on Black Americans, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, 5062 ISR Building 426 Thompson St., Ann Arbor, MI 48106, USA
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Denison University, 100 West College Street, Granville, OH 43023, USA
Department of Sociology, Psychology and Social Work, The University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica
Department of Behavioral Sciences, University of Michigan-Dearborn, 4901 Evergreen Rd, Dearborn, MI 48128, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jorge Delva
Received: 1 September 2014 / Accepted: 4 January 2015 / Published: 13 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Substance and Drug Abuse Prevention)
Full-Text   |   PDF [733 KB, uploaded 13 January 2015]   |  


This study compares the health conditions of domestic Caribbeans with those living in the United States to explore how national context and migration experiences might influence substance use (i.e., alcohol or drug) and other mental and physical health conditions. The study is based upon probability samples of non-institutionalized Caribbeans living in the United States (1621), Jamaica (1216) and Guyana (2068) 18 years of age and over. Employing descriptive statistics and multivariate analytic procedures, the results revealed that substance use and other physical health conditions and major depressive disorder and mania vary by national context, with higher rates among Caribbeans living in the United States. Context and generation status influenced health outcomes. Among first generation black Caribbeans, residing in the United States for a longer length of time is linked to poorer health outcomes. There were different socio-demographic correlates of health among at-home and abroad Caribbeans. The results of this study support the need for additional research to explain how national context, migratory experiences and generation status contribute to understanding substance use and mental disorders and physical health outcomes among Caribbean first generation and descendants within the United States, compared to those remaining in the Caribbean region. View Full-Text
Keywords: substance use; mental and physical health; culture; ethnicity; migration substance use; mental and physical health; culture; ethnicity; migration

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Lacey, K.K.; Sears, K.P.; Govia, I.O.; Forsythe-Brown, I.; Matusko, N.; Jackson, J.S. Substance Use, Mental Disorders and Physical Health of Caribbeans at-Home Compared to Those Residing in the United States. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 710-734.

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